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tv   State of the Union  CNN  January 13, 2013 9:00am-10:00am PST

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suspended the commentator for questioning griffin's au then it tisty as an african-american asking whether he was wrote, quote, a brother or corn [ inaudible ] brother. espn has decided not to renew parker's contract. you may think we are going into the toilet with this item but has this gotten attention. al roker, the nbc anchor and weather guy, told this story about himself and the white house. >> and as i'm walking to the press room, i got to pass a little gas here. i'm walking by myself, who's going to know. only a little something extra came out. >> you pooped in your pants. >> not horribly, but enough that i knew. >> roker, as you guessed it, pushing a book on weight loss and described the loss of bowel control about one of the side effects of gastric bypass surgery. that's the inside. that's it for this edition of
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"reliable sources." i'm howard curts. if you missed us go to itunes on monday, search for reliable sources in the itunes store. join us next weekend for cnn's special coverage of the presidential inauguration. "state of the union" with candy crowley begins right now. the white house forces the issue even signaling it will go it alone on gun control where it can. today the biden panel readies its report for a white house that's banking on public revulsion. >> there is nothing that has gone to the heart of the matter more than the visual image of little 6-year-old kids riddled -- not shot with a stray bullet -- riddled, riddled with bullet holes. >> conversations with nra president david keene, and connecticut senator chris murphy. then the dying art of bipartisanship with west virginia democratic senator joe
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manchin and former republican presidential candidate jon huntsman. plus, guns, spending and all the president's men and we do mean men, with republican congresswoman marcia blackburn, democratic congressman elijah cummings, "the new york times" jeff zeleny. and jeff scherer. i'm candy crowley. this is "state of the union." a month after the massacre in newton, connecticut, the vice president is expected to present an array of gun control proposals this week. # he has publicly mentioned universal background checks on gun buyers and restrictions on high capacity magazines. the white house adds that president will also push congress for an assault weapons ban, a spokesman explained biden did not mention the controversial ban because the panel focused on consensus proposals. it appears you can count the national rifle association out of that conken sus. for starters, biden talked about his conclusions before he met with the nra and after the biden
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session the gun rights lobby said, quote, we were disappointed with how little this meeting had to do with keeping our children safe and how much it had to do with an agenda to attack the second amendment. joining me now is nra president david keene. >> how are you? >> very glad to see you. thanks for coming. let's set the bottom line here. in that meeting, was anything said by the vice president that you could agree with in terms of a proposal and was anything said by you that he could agree with? >> well, he'd have to speak to that. we sent jim baker the former director of our institute for legislative action to the meeting because he knows most of the people, he's been involved in this for a long time, and we went to the meeting on the assumption and as the vice president and had his spokes people had said several times, they enter this without any conyou collusions having been reached -- as you pointed out conclusions were reached. we suspect he wanted to say he
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talked to us and they were going to go forward with doing what they wanted to do. we made the point there are things that could be done. one of the things that we have pushed for, for a number of years is those adjudicated to be mentally incompetent and potentially dangerous on to the lists of those people prevented from buying firearms. that has not been done. that should be done, because most of the people who engage in these things are people who have had real trouble. for example, some years ago, the virginia tech shooter, would not have been able to purchase a firearm had that been done in virginia. we hope that the administration will get behind that kind of proposal. >> it appears they possibly are, in fact, doing that. but the question here is, that there have been -- we know the nra, for instance, fought in one of the states that was trying to put, you know, to say look, folks who have had -- mentally ill may not have guns, and you wanted to make sure they had a right to go back and -- >> correct. >> -- you know, say i'm okay
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now. even though you talk about it, it seems that a lot of people, you put the brakes on things like that. >> well, what we put the brakes on is anything that simply takes away a person's second amendment right for no good reason. you can restrict the constitutional right, like free speech, famously you cannot yell "fire" in a crowded theater, and what we have suggested and this has particularly come up because this administration and a previous one have attempted to bar returning veterans who have sought psychological help from buying firearms and we said fine if there is an adjudication this -- that they shouldn't be doing this, but if that happens and they get better and after the whole point of a mental health system is not to permanently relegate people to an inferior status, but to cure them. if they are cured, there ought to be a way out of that. that's all we've said. we think that's very fair. >> insofar as the things we have seen out there, universal background checks in assault
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weapons ban, and something that contains these clips, makes them so that you can't have the large capacity, that is just a nonstarter for you. >> we don't think any of those things work. >> so the art of compromise in washington is for somebody to give something up, and for the other people to give something up. what are you willing to put on the table? >> well, you should absolutely be willing to compromise on things that accomplish the purpose. our objection to those things is that they interfere with people's rights without doing anything to solve the problem. if you are going to solve the problem, there are two things that you have to do. you have to get to the root of the problem, and in virtually all of these cases, it is a mental health problem and we have a mental health system that has collapsed and secondly you have to provide security because you can't always find somebody who is about to do something. we are not experts on mental health and we are not experts on security, though we've set up independently somebody who is to look into that, but we do know a little bit about guns and
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firearms and what works and what doesn't work. we are not willing to compromise on people's rights when there is no evidence that doing so is going to accomplish the purpose. >> no assault weapons ban and no ban on these multi clips. i don't think the white house is going to budge on their point. you're note going to budge on your pushback. let's talk about the politics of this. do you think you have enough support on capitol hill to keep an assault weapons ban from passing? >> i think right now we do. >> as opposed to -- >> candy, you've been watching capitol hill for a long time, and when a president takes all of the power of the office if he is willing to expend the political capital, you don't want to make predictions and you don't want to bet your house on the outcome. i would say the likelihood is that they are not going to be able to get an assault weapons ban through this congress. >> how about a clip? some kind of a restriction? >> i don't think that ultimately they will get that either, because i don't think you can make a case, a, that you can
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really regulate it because these things cost virtually nothing, you know, even david gregory could find one, but the fact is that we're -- we live in a society where first of all, we have constitutional rights and secondly, there are millions upon millions of americans who value the rights that they have under the second amendment and who are involved in the shooting sports or use firearms for self-defense and we think that they will be heard. >> and when you look at the power, one of the things that you said when you came in is that our number one political priority is to defeat the president for a second term, and that didn't happen. you also lost some high profile senate races that you invested in. what does that say about the power -- because there are a lot of people out there who say, look, this has changed, that newtown has changed public sentiment, and it has changed the mood on capitol hill, and yet you think that the nra still has the power to block this? >> the nra doesn't have the
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power, but those american s who believe in the second amendment do. the races that were decided this year, weren't decided on the second amendment issues as you well know and not discussed. the president said he would never take your rifle, your sidearm or interfere with your second amendment rights. in those races where there was a clear choice -- let me give you an example. we were very involved in the wisconsin gubernatorial recall, because you had a clear opponent of the second amendment and proponent of the second amendment we made a six-point difference, i should say gun owners made a six-point difference. in that race we did exit polls and everybody that voted said they supported the goals and principles of the nra. i'm willing to suggest that gun owners in this country have as much influence as they always have and perhaps more because guns are more acceptable now than they were ten years ago. >> one of the big questions here has been, who does the nra represent? you do take millions of colors from people who make guns and
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who make bullets, all perfectly legal, i'm sure they're all fine folks. >> actually, candy, we get less money from the industry we would like to get. >> but you get millions of dollars from them. >> we -- so the criticism out there that the nra and some other gun supporter groups gin up this, that they are going to come take your guns away, because what happens is that the gun sales rise and people go out, and you know, sort of frighten people into thinking that the guns are going away when, in fact, even membersers that are shortly friendly to you, all who a-ratings say we have to look at the assault weapons ban and the accusation is that you are ginning up this conversation, because it helps gun sales. >> the two people selling so-called assault rifles are senator finestein and president obama and not us. they're the ones that are scaring american gun owners. it isn't the nra. but we do say, one of our core missions, you know, the nra has been around since 1871 and from
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the 1970s on, we have emerged as the defender of second amendment rights. that's a core part of our mission. >> sure. but is that -- in that do you support gun owners or gun manufacturers? >> we support gun owners, our members and the people in the country who believe in the second amendment. we have had our difference s in the past, if you know the history of the nra with the gun manufacturers, because it is not our constituency. our constituency is twofold, the american people who want to own guns and use them legally, and it is the second amendment, itself. >> david keene, president of the nra, thank you for joining us this morning. >> any time. >> coming up, while washington debates gun control, connecticut's governor pays tribute to the fallen. >> in the midst of one of the worst days in our history, we also saw the best of our state. teachers and therapist who sacrificed their lives protecting students, a principal and school psychologist that ran into harm's way.
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since the deadly rampage at sandy hook elementary school. newtown, connecticut, has done what no other shooting has, prompted what may be decisive changes to gun laws. joining me now is connecticut senator chris murphy. senator, you are in newton today. i appreciate you taking the time. let me get a quick update from you, if i can, about what we know. it has been a month. are we any closer to understanding what motivated this shooter? >> this is an ongoing investigation and i think that it has been very difficult for the police to find out the motive here. this guy did a pretty good job of destroying a lot of the evidence, and his computer which he may have done a lot of gaming and correspondence on was ruined by the time they got to the house, and although we expect there will be a report and the families desperate want as much information as we can get, we
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haven't gotten much yet. this community is still really grieving. this is certainly about the families of the little boys and girls who are lost, but it is also about teachers and administrators and first responders who maybe in the fury of the days and the weeks after the shooting didn't exactly understand how deeply it had affected them. this is going to take a long time even after the report comes out for this community to recover. >> right. and the other thing that is still outstanding there, is there any evidence that the shooter sought mental assistance or that his mother sought it for him? was he ever in the system in any way? well that's one of the questions we're trying to answer. there have been reports that the mother understood this was a deeply troubled individual and she was at or around the time of the shooting trying to find some serious treatment option for him. the fact is, she would have run into the roadblocks that thousands of mothers and fathers run into all across this
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country. there are a lot of kids who need help and the waiting lines for mental health services are very, very long. clearly she knew there was something wrong here and trying to figure it out, but there might not have been an option for her given the lack of funding for a lot of the services. >> so that turns me to what is happening in washington now, because newtown, you are right, it is going to take so much time to heal, and in washington now taking up the kind of other end of this, what can be done to prevent this, a legislative look? we are hearing a lot about gun control and i know you heard the interview that we did with david keene, the head of the nra and is there anything that he said that you said, okay, we can find some common ground and by the way, you get an f are the -- from the nra. so you're not in sync with them. but is there commonalty that you heard that's helpself in. >> well listen, if they want to work on funding for mental health services let's go to work on it. what they proposed a national
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registry of everyone in this country who's mentally ill. you want to talk about an abridgement of the bill of rights talk about what that would mean for people who have been diagnosed with depression who would find themselves on a list. the fact is that the nshg ra does not represent gun owners anymore. this is not your father's nra. it represents gun manufacturers. less than half of their funding comes from their members and they make tens of millions of dollars off of the purchases of guns. what your guest didn't tell you is that every time -- not every time but when assault weapons and high capacity magazines are bought in this country, often the nra gets a cut of those sales through its roundup program where the purchase price is rounded up to the nearest dollar and the nra gets the difference. the nra makes money and pay their salaries off the gun purchases. that's who they're representing in this debate. >> let me ask you, i know senator feinstein and bloomenle that are about to introduce a ban on assault weapons. what do you know about that
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piece of legislation? >> i'm going to be a supporter of that piece of legislation. >> what's in it? >> this is a -- this is -- i think will be a ban on assault weapons moving forward that's a tighter ban than the previous ban, and it will address high capacity magazine clips. the fact is as soon as we pass that ban back in the 1990s, the gun manufacturers found a way around it and other states like new jersey and california have passed much stricter bans and that's what the congress needs to do. i get it. the nra is going to use all their resources to try to stop this thing, but ultimately, the people of this country have been transformed and these assault weapons, and they know it, these are not used by sportsmen. you don't need an assault weapon to kill a deer or do target practice. sportsmen will not have their rights abridged or their ability to enjoy their sport change by having these dangerous
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military-style assault weapons taken off the streets. >> so let me ask you a bit back on the mental health issue. does it concern you that when we are hearing things from the biden panel, we are not hearing a lot about improving mental health services so that women like the mother of the shooter could maybe find some help, and we're not hearing a lot about these videos that seem to have some sort of effect, at least on those whose minds are already a little warped, so are you concerned that this is going to become only a gun control issue? >> i definitely want to hear us talk about mental health, because, you know, we know we're coming into lean budget times and there's always a tendency and risk to go after those line items that support mental health services first in these debate. i want that to be on the table. but let's be honest, we are not always going to be able to find these individuals who on a dime
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turn into mad men, and what could have helped here in newtown is a ban on assault weapons. i have to tell you that i fundamentally believe that if we had a ban on assault weapons and a ban on high capacity clips, this guy might never have taken up arms to begin with. what happens is these guys start to get courageous when they believe they can walk into a school or movie theater with the kind of weapons they see in these video games. there would still be little boys and girls alive in newtown, today, i believe if you had banned assault weapons and high capacity magazine clips. that's something we can do and do now. >> senator chris murphy, new senator from connecticut, thanks for joining us from newton today. >> thanks, candy. >> when we return, bridging the political divide in washington and crossing the aisle to do it. . at prices that keep you...out of the red. this week get a bonus $15 itunes gift card with any qualifying $75 ink purchase.
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capzasin-hp. take the pain out of arthritis. for a moment, as the new congress gavelled in, everybody got a whiff of bipartisanship. >> i present the people's gavel to the speaker of the house john boehner. >> but now is the long winter of our political discontent. raising the debt ceiling, preventing sequestration, and funding the federal government for 2013 and passing gun regulations or not, and tackling immigration. the to-do list for congress looks more like the new years's resolutions you won't get around to. >> republicans in congress
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brought this house to a new low last night. >> the senate proceeded like a bull in a china closet. >> they are like salespeople who tell their customer they can have the $30,000 car but only pay $18,000 for it. >> now, a number of politicians, current and former, have joined forces to create a partisan-free environment, and called "no labels" they are pledged to a simple proposition, stop fighting and start fixing. we'll discuss compromise and the chances for success with the no labels chairman, democratic senator joe manchin of west virginia and former republican governor of utah jon huntsman, next. she wants. now you can with new stayfree ultra thins. flexible layers move with your body, while thermocontrol wicks moisture away. keep moving. new stayfree.
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with me now, senator joe manchin, democrat from west virginia and former presidential candidate and former utah governor jon huntsman, thank you both for being here, joining forces here. i have to say when i was reading about this, and said, okay, goals to argue less and act more, and i'm thinking, yeah, but how do you go about that, particularly from the outside? why is an outside group needed? >> well, let me say from no labels' standpoint when i was a
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senator two years ago, i was enamored with this because i came from a governorship -- jon and i were freshmen governors in 2004, we got elected in our states of utah and west virginia and we became friends, democrat and republican, looking to solve problems. i thought the same would carry over when i got to washington. first of all you have to understand the dynamics of what we're dealing with. as a senator we have -- since i've been there in two years, there has not been a bipartisan caucus where we sit down to talk with our republican colleagues on the other side, unless we do it behind what you see on the day-to-day basis. even think about taking it further, we don't even know our colleagues in congress, the 435. so, this gives a us chance, and no labels gives us a venue to sit down and have meaningful conversation. >> but, you know, to have to do this seems like, you could tell 100 grown men and women, you guys need to talk to each other. >> right. but did you hear what joe just
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said? i mean can you believe there's not even a venue that allows people to come together to solve problems? the premise is a simple one. joe and i come from a background of problem solving as governors and when you see the dysfunction of congress is now becoming our nation's dysfunction, we're becoming disfigured in a sense, our economy is, because congress is so far behind in the game, so the premise is a simple one, and that is that we want to create a new attitude around problem solving. how do you do that? >> right. >> you've got to get a critical mass together of problem solvers which is what we're doing, we have 25 signed on and our goal by the end of the year is to have 75. so if you can imagine 75 republicans and democrats house and senate members who agree to meet, check their ego at the door and sit around a table where they're putting their country first as opposed to party, as opposed to the next election, they're thinking about the future when they deliberate about these important issues, that's the objective. so far as i can tell, candy, i'm
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a recent convert to this, they came to me most recently, there's nobody else in the world of movements now that is focused on bringing people together around the premise of problem solving. >> well, certainly, there have been third way, and a lot of the groups out there that have sort of tried this, but it is in reality, you get, you know, bipartisanship on capitol hill tends to be, if you agree with me, then you are being bipartisan. so let me try to get you to apply bipartisanship to gun control. i think we can pretty much see where the lines of delineation are re. you heard the nra, you hear those in -- some moderates and those on the left going, no, wait a second, it can't be about guns. it's about the society, it's about mental health. so you these two sides that to me sound a lot like, you know, ten years ago when they were arguing this. >> candy, you two former
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governors that were raised in cultures of guns. >> west virginia and utah. >> i've been an nra member, a-rated, always been supported and appreciate all the support i receive. i appreciate all my friends in the sporting arenas and hunting and all that. i was taught at a young age use it safely, respect the firearms and make sure i passed it down to my children and grandchildren. with all it that being said, never in my life could i imagine that i would see a time where mass violence has escalated to the point where 20 children, let's say 20 babies, in their kindergarten were slaughtered. that has changed. >> that's how everyone felt. >> for any -- >> and everybody went holy cow. >> and this has changed, and we owe it to sit down and talk, but it has to be comprehensive and it can't be about guns and guns only. it can't be about the mental illness or the lack of mental illness care we have and the video violence and the media.
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i want every nra member and every law-abiding gun owner to know that the second amendment rights will not be infringed upon and the same as the first amendment will not be infringed upon, but as adults we have a responsibility to have an adult dialog and try to have a comprehensive package that works. >> we have dialogue about the deficit and we have simpson bowles which everyone promptly ignored. it's kind of going back into the conversation now, but the question is, and i know you've written an op-ed, you know, what's reasonable? what is reasonable in terms of gun control when it comes to states that understand the gun culture and how deeply it is embedded in the culture of some of these states? >> well it's going to have to be a little bit from all of the above and that's why, you know, your show -- >> assault weapons ban. >> we've heard from the special interest groups, we're hearing from, you know, one end of the spectrum or that end of the spectrum, but in the end, our
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duly elected officials get together with an open mind and they then make decisions on behalf of the people they represent. that's where getting back to no labels is so important. you know, we've got the politics of right and left and center, but we've forgotten the most important part of all and that's the politics of problem solving. representing the people in all that we do. what we are doing today is not normal and for the younger generation growing up seeing the way that politics is playing out this is not the norm. that is why joe and i coming from the backgrounds we do, you get people of right and left together in a room, whether it's on guns or anything else, and you say, what's the pathway forward? how do we solve this for the american people? >> what is? you've called for reasonable. what's reasonable to you? is an assault weapons ban such as the one we're about it to get from dianne feinstein and senator blumenthal from connecticut, is that reasonable? >> first of all, how do you keep the guns such as assault guns out of the hands of mentally deranged people that should have help?
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that's where it seems to be. if you look back at the virginia tech, the gentleman had been detained twice, only for 48 hours because of the laws we may have. >> didn't apply in arizona because he apparently hadn't sought anything. colorado. >> but that's a huge problem. the other part of it is, what type of weapons, how registration, how they're getting into the hands. all of that is reasonable to talk about. there's a premise now in washington that guilt by conversation. used to be guilt by association. we've moved on to guilt by conversation. we can't even sit down and have conversations about can you talk about any of these issues, whether it's the clips and whether it's registration and whether it's bans on certain military, you can't even talk about it and if you don't have the people who are understanding that, the people that basically have expertise in that, at the table and if you keep pushing the nra away, they've got to sit down and they've got to have a responsible place at the table and i've kept -- i'm pushing that.
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i want them to be there. but i want the people that understand mental illness, that understand the video games. >> so the wholistic approach. >> here's why. what joe is saying is so important and why the no labels dimension is so relevant here. regardless of whether it's guns or whether tax reform or immigration or energy policy, it's all the same. >> right. >> they're going to have to come to the table with a comprehensive package. in the case of guns you know the throw or four components that haven to included in the end. it's kind of a no-brainer for most but we have a hard time getting there. that's why bringing together these -- this coalition of problem solvers in congress that no labels has been able to, it's a start. by the end of the year if we get 75 to 80 such people, imagine the progress on all these important issues we'll be able to make. >> i'm going to give you the last word here. you are in a position, you do vote in the senate, and your words post newtown were taken originally as, oh, senator manchin is now for a ban on
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assault weapons. probably what you were talking about. >> guilt by conversation. >> so the question here is, am i correct in interpreting what you're saying, sure you would talk about an assault weapons ban, but it has to be in a more wholistic package than just here's an assault weapons ban, that is right? >> no labels and problem solvers and be a member her of that, doesn't cost a thing, no, sign on. it brings people together. i can talk about, i want to know -- i don't own an assault weapon. i own guns. i don't have the multiclips. i need to talk to people that believe it's important for them to keepmulticlips. i need to talk to people that go to gun shows don't believe they need to register. i want to hear from them. why is it so important you're protecting that position. on the other hand, they're saying how come you're not looking at the mental illness and the people causing the mass violence. how come you're not looking at the video games that my 8-year-old can log into and see
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and glorify violence and it really is an all-inclusive approach. it's building a consensus and you have to take it that way. >> if i can get a yes or no, possibly. an assault weapons stand alone ban -- >> assault weapons standalone ban on just guns alone will not in the political reality that we have today, will not go anywhere. it has to be comprehensive. that's what i've tried to tell the vice president and i've told everybody, it has to be a comprehensive approach. >> senator joe manchin and former governor jon huntsman, thank you both. good luck. we'll have you back and see how many you're collecting as you go along. thank you. >> thank you. >> up next, our political panel on guns and presidential nominations. [ female announcer ] when a woman wears a pad, she can't always move the way she wants. now you can with new stayfree ultra thins. flexible layers move with your body, while thermocontrol wicks moisture away. keep moving. new stayfree. while thermocontrol wicks moisture away.
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joining me around the table, "time" magazine's michael scherer, and elijah cummings, democrat from maryland and congresswoman marsha blackburn and also from "the new york times" jeff zeleny. happy new year. thanks for being here. let's talk about guns. do you sense -- i want to look at it from the inside out and outside in. do you sense that the steam for a ban on assault weapons is slowly coming out of the balloon? it just feels a little bit like both sides have reverted to form. what does it feel like? >> well, you know, i had suffered a death of my nephew at
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handgun violence and with the assault weapons, i think we have a possibility, but i think it's going to be very difficult. i think the things we do agree on, it seems is the universal background checks and the high capacity magazines. 97% of republicans say that we ought to have the universal background checks. your own poll, cnn's poll, and then 61% said we ought to look at high magazine capacity. i think that those are the things that we will be able to get done but i think we ought to try to approach it from a comprehensive standpoint and get as much done as we can. >> and senator manchin mentioned that as well. because he said the only way to deal with guns is to deal with the rest of it. do you sense among your colleagues and in fact, quite a few democrats with high ratings from the national rifle association who come from gun country where gun is not a dirty
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word and all that, and do you sense that this is kind of fading away or is there still a real drive for some kind of limitations on guns or the ammuniti ammunition? >> you know, what i am hearing is that people want to make certain that we protect the second amendment and their second amendment rights and protect their freedom and not impede that. also, i'm hearing from a lot of teachers and mental health professionals and physicians that we need to do a couple things. number one is to drill down on the mental health issue and number two is to look at these psychiatric and psycho tropic drugs, because that is, many times, linked to the individuals that carry out these crimes. they're also wanting to make certain that we begin to get in behind these video games. i have -- i watched a couple of these last night in preparation for this segment, and candy, as a mother and a grandmother, i
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was astounded with some of the things i was seeing on "call to du duty" and, of course, we know the norway shooter would go in and use that as target practice. i mean, this is something where you say, number one, let's keep children say, number two, let's protect our freedoms and let's put these our freedoms and let's put these issues on the table and have a good solid conversation about it. >> where is this going? >> i think that the white house is still interested in a perfect world for an assault weapons ban, but there is a lot of evidence out there that, a, it did not necessarily work last time, but they are more interested in getting something accomplished, so we will see that as part of the vice president's proposal, but it is not going to be the be all, end all. and if that does not happen, it is not going to bring down the whole effort. i think that the president is committed to this, and i think -- >> and by this? >> some type of background checks, probably ammunition
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clips. there's going to be another shooting sadly. this is going to a stay in the consciousness. i don't think this is going to recede sort of into our memory here. >> but the problem is, you know, it could be a hammer, a hatchet, a car, a gun -- >> but hammers and hatchets and cars are not as fast as the clips. >> but you still have to look at the mental health and make certain that you are protecting an individual's rights. >> and to the point quickly, 30,000 people die as a result of handguns in this country, and 10,000 homicides, but the vast majority of them, candy, are suicides. >> right. and a lot of the mass shootings are suicides as well, if that makes sense, and people say, no, they go with the intent of dying doing this, so it's part of a suicide. how do you see it panning out? >> well, we will have proposals next week, and it will include everything that is being talked about from the vice president. you have a house right now that
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can't pass the speaker's bills. the senate will probably react later this year and then it's a long-term process about figuring out whether you can continue the outside pressure, the outrage from the country. i think there's common ground on background checks, a dispute over whether it's universal or just gun shows. there's not going to be common ground over magazines initially, but there's room to move there because a lot of these shootings, there's evidence that reloading clips in the case of gabby giffords, it was clear when he tried to reload the clip is when he was taken down, and it does matter. it does reduce the number of people that can be killed. improving the background system. the nra is less on board with. they will have to wrangle with the details. and then the reach at this point. >> when you look at it, one of the things i thought that senator manchin said that was interesting was, unless you put this all together in a single bill it's not going to pass. you can't just go here's the assault weapons bill. it's got to be part of a package to show -- the president said of the biden panel we have to lack
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at mental health and these videos. >> i think we may start with a package, but i think that with the way the congress has been divided, i think it's going to be hard to get a total package through. this may have to, candy, be a project and not [ inaudible ]. we may have to do it piece by piece. i would rather see a cpre henesive bill. one thing is for sure, if we don't act now with 20 young kids being murdered, i don't know when we're going to act. >> exactly. will you stick with me, because when we come back the president makes some cabinet picks for the second term. we'll be right back with our package. we will be right back with the tdd#: 1-800-345-2550 investors want. tdd#: 1-800-345-2550 like no atm fees, worldwide. tdd#: 1-800-345-2550 and no nuisance fees. tdd#: 1-800-345-2550 plus deposit checks with mobile deposit. tdd#: 1-800-345-2550 and manage your cash and investments tdd#: 1-800-345-2550 with schwab's mobile app. tdd#: 1-800-345-2550 no wonder schwab bank has grown to over 70 billion in assets. tdd#: 1-800-345-2550 so if you're looking for a bank that's in your corner, tdd#: 1-800-345-2550 not just on the corner... tdd#: 1-800-345-2550
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we are back with michael scherer and jeff zeleny of "the new york times" and marsha blackburn and congressman elijah cummings. switching gears. a lot made about the president's latest picks in the cabinet, jack lew, senator hagel, senator kerry in key positions here,
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treasury, defense, state department. something your colleague, congressman wrangle said about the lack of diversity in the cabinet thus far. it's embarrassing as hell, his words. we've been through all of this with 2012 gop presidential nominee, mitt romney. and we were very hard with mitt romney with the women binder and a variety of things. and i kind of think there's no excuse with the second term. there was a white house cabinet picture, a photo that went out, and it was kind of astonishing in its white male variety. first of all, does it matter? >> it does matter. i think women are very, very, it's very important that we have women in the cabinet. it's important that we have women in the congress. i would hate to imagine the congress without women, to be frank with you. i think it's a little bit early, candy. i really do. he has the epa position to fill governor solis. at labor and commerce he has to
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fill. i think if we just wait maybe a week or two, i can almost promise you we won't even be having this discussion. >> no offense, but as you know, state defense treasury. those are the crown jewels of the cabinet, are they not? >> the president passed over a very well qualified woman, michelle, who was kind of the next in the cue, if you will, for defense and went with chuck hagel. i know, i've got friends that are for him and against him. but, candy, the thing is, there was a woman who would have been the best person for the job. and why did he step over her? it would have been a historic choice. i think there are a lot of people who are disappointed in that. >> we have a president that's not interested in diversity. you know, i'm not sure we can make that case, can we? >> 43% of the folks we have now of women. he does believe in diversity. >> two supreme court justices. >> i mean, in his cabinet he had five women, four african-americans, three hispanics and two asian americans. that's diversity. i really believe that this
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president believes in diversity. that's why i say, i think it's a little bit early. >> i think this whole conversation is a symbolic way of talking about a deeper issue. which is that it remains more difficult for women to rise to the top and it's worse in politics, i think, than in academia or corporate america where women have made more gains. ten years i've been here, i have yet to cover a campaign or a white house or even congressional offices where there are not complaints from the women about the sort of boys club atmosphere, with the exception of the offices run by women. i think that's really the deeper issue we're trying to get at. cabinet picks are important, but a broader problem in washington. >> i agree with that. with what michael is saying somewhat. that there is having enough women in the process is a bipartisan problem. >> yes. >> many times women are the most qualified, but they're not a part of the good old boys club. it is more difficult to make that, to have those open doors. and that's one of the reasons
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that the dod pick, which would have been historic, is very disappointing and i do think people are going to be watching very closely to see if the steps this president takes are going to be the same type steps that he took in that first term. i think there's an accountability there. >> i think this problem in the short term is going to get worse for the white house because the chief of staff pick could come this week. likely to be dennis mcdonough or ron klain. but it is sort of interesting. i'm not sure i heard anyone on the hill praising the choice, potential choice of susan rice for secretary of state as a woman. i mean, they were criticizing her for her positions and other things. i think at the end of the day, it's optically not good. you know, obviously, for this president. he has sort of a strong record, but probably more important are those people around him. that white house photograph was very real and that's how it is on a day-to-day basis. with a couple of exceptions.
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but that's how senator obama and president obama has sort of always been. always surrounded by usually men. >> congressman, last word. this is also true of people of color. the president, obviously, we have a holder at the justice department. we have kirk at the u.s. trade rep, but are there enough minorities and should it matter to us? should we be discussing this? >> it should matter because diversity must be our promise and not our problem. and, you know, when you have first man of color in the white house, it becomes even more significant. but i believe the president truly believes in diversity and i think that, again, i think we'll see the diversity coming down the pipe. >> congressman elijah cummings, congresswoman marcia black burn, jeffrey zeleny and michael scherer, thank you for joining us. >> thank you. >> when we return, strike up the band. the inauguration is a week away. you can buy your mementos now. s and your taste buds have always endorsed us.
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finally today on the east side of capitol hill, rehearsals are under way for president obama's inauguration parade a week from tomorrow. but closer to the white house the party has already begun. ♪ >> thousands and thousands of americans will make their way into d.c. over the next couple of weeks. >> with a marching band and